In Michigan, nearly one year ago, we started a three week lockdown. While the restrictions have tightened and loosened over the last 12 months, we have all been impacted. We have experienced grief, loss, the death of a loved one or friend, our kids being home all.the.time., toilet paper shortages, food insecurity, church on YouTube, school on Zoom, and so many other things. Birthday parties and vacations were canceled or changed. Babies were born and so many of the expectations for a new baby haven't happened. One year into a pandemic and life has changed. Things that seemed so foreign a year ago are normal now - wearing a mask, hand sanitizer everywhere, social distancing, restrictions, etc. The pandemic has created challenges, lots of them, it has also created opportunity - getting to meet and know your neighbors, spending more time outside, lots of kids learned how to ride a bike!, cooking, gardening, faith formation at home, resiliency, and more.
As we near the one year anniversary of the pandemic, we can both honor the big emotions and celebrate. Here are ways that you can honor the big emotions with prayers, coloring pages, and journaling prompts.
For Children and Families
Provide paper and crayons or markers for each member of the family. Offer one or more of the following journaling prompts or create your own.
- What in your life has changed since the pandemic began?
- How are you feeling about your home and family life?
- What do you miss the most about life from before the pandemic began?
- What do you miss the least about life from before the pandemic began?
Use this litany or prayer time as a way to acknowledge big emotions, share gratitude and thanks, and pray together. With toddlers and preschoolers invite them to share something from the day or week, Elementary age kids may want to share from the day, week, or even over the past year.
Light a candle (or use a flameless candle)
Invite each person in your family to share a good thing from the day/week/month/year.
Invite each person in your family to share a tough thing.
Say your own prayer for going forth or use one of the prayers posted above.
Resources for Youth and Grown-ups
Written by Rev. Sarah Alexander, this litany highlights moments when everything changed. This could be used with a youth group, adult small group, or individually.
This video presents why many could experience "anniversary reaction" as the pandemic shutdown's 1-year mark arrives.
It's been a year
An article by Wendy Claire Barrie with several prayers, a litany, and resource.